Dogs not allowed on Lido Beach, City of Sarasota warns residents and visitors

City has produced two YouTube videos to emphasize threats dogs pose to nesting birds and water quality

This is a still from one of the City of Sarasota’s new YouTube videos about dogs on the beach. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Two new video messages have been created “to remind beachgoers that Lido Beach is a Fido-free zone,” the City of Sarasota has announced.

The brief videos, produced by city staff in partnership with Audubon Florida, “focus on the unintended consequences of dogs at the beach, including harmful impacts on wildlife and water quality,” a city news release points out.

Dogs and Threatened Species highlights the danger that dogs — whether leashed or unleashed — pose to threatened species nesting on Lido Beach, including least terns, snowy plovers and black skimmers, the release adds.

“Man’s best friend isn’t bird’s best friend,” said Kylie Wilson, Audubon Florida education coordinator, in the release. “Seeing or sensing a dog can cause these threatened birds to fly away from their nests and chicks, leaving them vulnerable to real predators such as crows, crabs and coyotes. It’s important we do everything we can to help these threatened species, and you can help by enjoying your dog away from the beach,” Wilson explained in the release.

This is a least tern next to a one-egg nest on Lido Key in late April. Photo courtesy of Kylie Wilson, Audubon Florida

Dogs and Water Quality “focuses on the potentially harmful impact to water quality when owners do not pick up after their pet,” the release continues. “It is estimated 40% of dog owners in the City of Sarasota leave excrement on the ground, whether on the beach, right-of-way, or backyard,” the release points out.

“We love dogs in Sarasota,” said Jeff Vredenburg, the city’s Sustainability Program coordinator, in the release. “We don’t love it when their waste is left on the ground. It contains bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella. When it rains, eventually that waste will run into one of our waterways and potentially contaminate Sarasota Bay or the Gulf of Mexico,” he added in the release.

The video messages are being shared on the City of Sarasota website and on social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Nextdoor, as residents and visitors plan family beach outings during the summer season, the release continues.

Two off-leash dog parks are within the city limits — at Arlington Park, located at 2650 Waldemere St., and at Gillespie Park, which is located at 710 N. Osprey Ave.

Brohard Beach and Paw Park in Venice is the only dog beach in the Sarasota region, the release notes.

For more information about the impacts of dogs on the beach with wildlife, persons are invited to visit FL.Audubon.org. To learn more about water quality issues, go to out www.SarasotaFL.gov.

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